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A student discussion

Listen to two students comparing Mars and Earth to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcripts

Teacher: So you've got a few minutes to discuss with your partner.

Student 1: So, as far as I know, the main similarity between Mars and Earth is that they can both support human life.

Student 2: Yeah, but do we know that's actually true? I mean, Mars is much colder than Earth, isn't it? It says here it's about minus 55 degrees most of the time, whereas on Earth only places like Antarctica get that cold.

Student 1: True. Well then, I suppose you could say both planets are a similar distance from the Sun?

Student 2: No way! Mars is much further away! It says here it's about 228 million kilometres, while Earth is about 150 million.

Student 1: Yes, but in space that's not that far. Jupiter is, like, almost 780 million kilometres. That's why we use astronomical units when we talk about distances in space. Earth is 1 astronomical unit from the Sun and Mars is 1.3. The difference doesn't sound so big when you look at it that way.

Student 2: I see what you mean. Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units so I guess you're right. What other similarities are there between the two planets?

Student 1: Let's see … not the colour, obviously!

Student 2: Yeah! Earth is called the blue planet and Mars is called the red planet for pretty obvious reasons!

Student 1: Their sizes are pretty different. Mars is about half the size of Earth.

Student 2: What about this? It looks like the days on both planets are almost the same length. Earth's day is 24 hours but Mars's is about half an hour longer.

Student 1: You're right. OK, any other things they both share?

Student 2: I suppose you could say they have water in common.

Student 1: Could you? How?

Student 2: Well, Earth is 70 per cent water and Mars probably had huge oceans in the past. It's just that most of the water there now is probably frozen.

Student 1: Ah, I see. I don't think we can say the air is the same, though. Most of Earth's air is nitrogen and oxygen, but Mars …?

Student 2: Mars doesn't really have air, not compared with Earth. It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth.

Student 1: Right, and it's mostly carbon dioxide.

Student 2: Gravity is another difference. I didn't know this, but Mars has higher gravity than the Moon. But it's much less than on Earth, of course.

Student 1: Oh, yes. It says Mars has about 38 per cent of Earth's gravity.

Teacher: OK, let's see what you've found …

Discussion

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

I think people will live on Mars one day,because we already have this idea.Also scientists are investigating this planet for life. Ofcourse we can think about moving to another planet,but it's more important to take care about our Earth.It is incredible.I am sorry for my mistakes,please correct me if you want

Yeah. As Soon as humans find out about some resources in Mars

Maybe someday, that will happen, as technology advance. Who could have thought that man will visit the moon some centuries past? My point is human has the innate capacity to think and bring forth witty inventions of which advancement that could aid human lives in Mars could be possible.

Well, maybe someday. But if we take care of the Earth first sounds better to me. I mean, if we are going to destroy Mars as well, it doesn`t make sense to go to live there.

No, I don`t think so. I think if we can live on Mars, we can find life there.

Well, maybe one day people will be able to live on Mars. But I just can't figure out why people do such terrible things? We have a wonderful, unique and living planet. And why is humanity killing such a valuable gift as Earth, and at the same time trying to revive a dead planet? Do they think life on Mars will be better or more convenient? I don't think so. Perhaps one day people will live on the Red Planet, but I think that our children don't deserve such a life.

I doubt that humans will live there at all.

I found a problem with the audio; it stopped at 1mn 41.

Hello Leila77,

The audio just played for me, so I imagine that it was a temporary error. If you are still not able to play all of the audio, I'd suggest downloading it to see if that works better. If you're on a computer, you can right-click on the audio player and save it on your computer.

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
I have just downloaded the audio, and I can now listen to the entire discussion.
Thanks for your help.

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